Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dwarf Car Nationals Return To Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion 
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Dwarf Car Nationals Return To Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway is hosting the biggest Dwarf Car event in Oregon on August 4th and 5th.  The locally based SODCA Dwarf Car club is a member of the bigger Western States Dwarf Car Association, and they've hosted one of the big Dwarf Car Nationals events for well over a decade now.

The Nationals concept was the brain child of former Northern California Dwarf Car Association president and champion Frank Munroe.  As the Dwarf Cars grew very quickly on the West Coast in the mid 1990's, Munroe wanted to bring the various groups together under one set of rules for a big blowout event.  The selected track was Marysville, California.  When they drew over 100 cars, Munroe knew the concept was a winner.

Though Marysville is still the cornerstone date of the WSDCA Nationals schedule, Munroe offered various groups an opportunity to host a Nationals.  Naturally, SODCA jumped at the chance to host a big event, and Southern Oregon Speedway as been on that schedule for several seasons.  These gatherings are more than just races.  They are almost like Dwarf Car family reunions.

After each night, they have an awards banquet in the pits where they hand out the trophies and enjoy good food and conversation.  The first night's events help set the lineups for Saturday's shows, whiich generally offer a bigger purse than normal in he Pro division.  This will be the ninth year that this event at Southern Oregon will have a Pro, Veteran and Sportsman division.  The Sportsman class is for the new drivers with less than three years experience, while the Veteran's class is for racers over 45.  Some of those competitors instead choose to run with the highly competitive Pro group.

The field of cars between the three groups is expected to reach past 50.  The NCDCA group out of Northern California has big car counts at their regular shows, and many of those racers are the first in line for the National events.  The SF Bay Area based SBDCA group also fields several cars.  Groups from Nevada, Southern California and Northern Oregon will also be represented.  You end up with the best Dwarf Car racers on the West Coast.

Friday's preliminary Main Event will transfer the Top 10 finishers into Saturday's Fast Dash.  That 10 lap race will set the first five rows for the Main Events in all three categories.  In the case of the Pro division, car count will likely be big enough for a B Main to be needed.  Those Fast Dash racers avoid that race and potentially missing the Main Event altogether.

Night 2 in the Pro class has been dominated by Shawn Jones.  Jones has won the last three Main Events and four of the last five.  He's part of both the NCDCA and SBDCA groups and is a threat to win with either group every week.  Another NDDCA star, Ryan "Ice Chip" Winter, interrupted the Jones' won streak in 2012.  There are SODCA stars who will be in the hunt, including two time champion Josh King.  King earned his second runnerup finish in the last three years last season.  This happened after he rolled his car in hot laps and borrowed Winter's car for that second place finish.  You can count reigning champion Brock Peters, Camden Robustelli and Chad Cardoza as three other SODCA stars hoping to defend the local honor.

Long time Medford area racer "Fast" Freddie Hay is back this year after a violent flip in Chico last year left him with a broken neck.  At nearly 80 years old, Hay was a Top 15 point competitor at the old Medford Speedway that was in White City in 1963.  Hay has three runneup finishes in Veteran's competition and may have the best shot at bringing that win back to Medford this year.  The highly competitive Sportsman class has never had a repeat winner, but locals such as B. Peters, Robustelli, Kaycee Sheeler and R.J. McGahuey have won.

The nice thing about the Dwarf Cars is that they are fast and and offer close and competitive racing for the fans to enjoy.  As an added bonus, the Friday show will include the track's JOAT Labs Hornets division.  Saturday night will include the exciting Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars and Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites as part of the program.  It will two nights of heat racing with a full lineup of race cars.

The gates open on both nights at 5 PM with the first race at 7:00 PM.  General Admission on Friday is $12.00 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors (6-12) $6.00.  General Admission on Saturday is $15.00 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors (6-12) $10.00.  Children 5 and under are free.  For further information, go to

Past Dwarf Car Nationals Winners

Pro Division
2009    Brian Quilty
2010    Monte Morris
2011    Ronnie Williams
2012    Shawn Jones
2013    Ryan Winter
2014    Shawn Jones
2015    Shawn Jones
2016    Shawn Jones

Veteran Division
2009    Kelly Gutches
2010    Kelly Gutches
2011    Kelly Gutches
2012    Gilbert Toste
2013    Kevin Bender
2014    Kelly Gutches
2015    Angel Figueroa
2016    Tim Fitzpatrick   

Sportsman Division
2009    R.J. McGahuey
2010    Henry Corbin II
2011    Cecilia Dille
2012    Brock Peters
2013    Kaycee Sheeler
2014    Camden Robustelli
2015    Joey Dale
2016    Ben Wiesz

Herz Precision Parts Cascade Wingless 360 Sprint Car Race Comes To Southern Oregon Speedway On August 26th

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway has had some big Sprint Car races in its 22 year history, but it's never had a big Wingless 360 Sprint Car race.  Until now.  Promoter Mike McCann has teamed up with Mark Herz of Herz Precision Parts ( to create the Cascade Sprint Car Challenge race.  This big event is coming to the fast three-tenths mile clay oval on August 26th, and it's paying $3,000 to win.

Mark Herz has been a big Wingless Sprint Car supporter for the past several years.  Mark has raced at most of the different venues in Oregon trough the years.  He generally doesn't race for points, but rather the enjoyment of Wingless Sprint Car racing.  He has earned multiple Top 10 point seasons and was fourth in NWWT points in 2011.  Thanks to Herz's sponsorship, the Wingless Sprint Cars have had some big races in Oregon through the years.  Now the Southern Oregon Speedway fans will get to see some exciting Wingless Sprint Car action.

The purse makes this the biggest Sprint Car race of the year.  The winner takes home $3,000.  Second place gets a nice $1,500 payday, while third gets $1,000.  All feature starters get a minimum of $250, and the driver and car entry is just $80.  Drivers will qualify on the clock.  The Top 2 qualifiers automatically earn starting spots in the six lap Scramble to determine the first three rows of the Main Event, and fast time also wins $100.  The Top 2 finishers in each ten lap heat race also earn starting spots in the Scramble.  The Main Event will be 30 laps of pure excitement.

Drivers are already expressing interest in competing in the big race.  Track regulars Kyler Barraza and Enrique Jaime will both be talking off their wings to compete for the big money.  Barraza is currently the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car point leader with multiple championships on the Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour and at Coos Bay Speedway.  Jaime has raced Outlaw Karts for years and is a Top 5 driver in his rookie season.  Will other regulars take off their wings and come racing?  Word was that Cottage Grove Speedway regular Cooper Desbiens was planning to compete.  Cooper has won multiple wingless races in recent seasons.

From California comes word that respected car owner Ted Finkebinder will be fielding at least one car.  The Finkenbinder team excels at Wingless Sprint Car racing and automatically becomes one of the teams to beat in this race.  Further word out of California is that USAC regular Steve Hix will be racing.  Hix has been racing Sprint Cars for several seasons and looks forward to visiting Southern Oregon Speedway for the first time.

Adding to the fan excitement for the night is the fact that this will be Hays Oil Night At The Races.  Hays Oil ( has been a valued sponsor and Sprint Car supporter at Southern Oregon Speedway for several years, and on this night they will be doing giveaways for the fans.  The Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets will run in support of the Sprint Car program.  Two local DJ's will have a special grudge match in Hornets.

The Cascade Sprint Car Challenge on August 26th will be a night of exciting wingless racing.  Some of the top West Coast teams are looking at competing, and there will be more news in the days ahead.  For further information, go to, e-mail or see the flier at

Pit Stops

They were lining up at the gate at around 5:00 PM prior to the most recent race at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Several of the racers were IMCA Modified drivers getting ready for their fifth race of the season.  As the reporter walked by, Albert Gill rolled down his window and made his proclamation.  "We're going for the championship."

It's probably been a while since we've heard an IMCA Modified racer declare their intent to win an IMCA Modified championship in Medford, and it was nice to hear.  The long tradition of Modified champions stretches back to 1996, the year Southern Oregon Speedway opened.  Many good racers have passed through those gates with names like Estremado, Richey, DeBenedetti, Poppa and Wauge.  All Of them are champions.  From the days with the wings on the cars and through different sanctioning bodies, the Modifieds have been a featured division.

It should come as no surprise that Gill is the driver going for the championship.  Perhaps you haven't noticed it, but he's been collecting IMCA Modified championships and cementing his legacy as one of the best ever in the division.  In the past few seasons, Albert has won two championships each in Medford and Yreka.  Going back to his days as a Top 10 Pro Stock competitor 16 years ago, Gill has been a supporter of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway.  He was even putting on a show for the fans as one of the stars of the old Thrill Cars division.

Of course, championships aren't a given.  You earn them.  With hard chargers like Jesse Bailey, Jeremy Ohlde and Ray Kniffen Jr. in the field, Gill knows he has to go out there and earn it.  In the race prior to Speedweek, he was leading the way in heavy traffic in a quest for his first win of the season.  Unfortunately, the cars in his path slowed his pace enough for Californian Derek Nance to race by for the lead.  Consistency wins championships.  Gill brought it home to second that night to take the point lead.  It's better than a crash and no finish.

Last time out, Gill had a battle on his hands with Preston Jones.  Jones has racked up some impressive credentials of his own through the years.  He won multiple Main Events and had a pair of Top 3 seasons in Late Model Lites.  He moved up to become a Top 5 racer in IMCA Modifieds.  He came within a half dozen points of beating Kyler Barraza for the 2013 Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour championship.  He's back in an IMCA Modified this year and he's looked fast from the start.  He led laps in both his heat race and the Main Event last time out, but on both occasions, Gill raced by to claim the lead and victory.  Gill backed up his earlier statement with a pair of wins at the most recent event.  There's more racing to go, and he's not about to slow down now.

Family is an important part of racing, and a mainstay family of racing in Medford for decades is the Duste family.  From Dave Duste Sr. to his sons Dave Jr. and Matt, many races have been won.  We haven't seen them much this year, though behind the scenes they have continued to support the track as a sponsor of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute.  The most recent IMCA Sport Modified race saw the debut of the third generation of the family to go racing, Tony Duste.  Tony was back running his car in the most recent Modified race, and we also saw the return of Matt Duste.  Matt gave chase in the waning laps of the Main Event before settling for second to Gill.  Tony, meanwhile, brought it home to a respectable lead lap seventh place finish.  Not too shabby for his second time in a race car.

Gill's closest threat in the standings is Jesse Bailey, but he's 36 points behind after finishing ninth ahead of Jeremy Ohlde last time out.  Bailey started the night off with a Trophy Dash win over Gill, which prevented a Gill clean sweep.  Ohlde is still holding onto third in a tie with Mark Wauge.  Wauge's season took an unfortunate turn when he crashed in the Speedweek finale at Willamette and totaled his race car.  This has opened the door for Ray Kniffen Jr. to make a run at a career best third place point effort.  Kniffen had a pretty good night last time as he held of rookie Shane Everson for a fourth place finish.  Everson leads all of the rookies in the standings in the Mike Johnson owned #46 car.  Outlaw Kart racer Jantzen Knips made his first start in the division aboard the former James Anderson car and finished a respectable fifth.

James Welshonse was last season's top rookie, and he came within two points of beating Wauge for the championship after he won the season finale.  It's been a sophomore jinx season for James so far with a few tangles and mechanical issues dropping him from title contention.  He's enjoying the IMCA Modified division, but lack of a pit crew makes it a challenge for him.  It limited his ability to support Speedweek as much as he would have liked this year.  One of the things he does to compensate for his crew situation is show up early on race night.  This gives him plenty of time to make sure everything is set up.  The plan is to support Southern Oregon Speedway as much as possible.  James enjoys the hooked up race tracks Jim Rodgers has been preparing.  He finished back in 11th last time, but he's still only 17 points out of third despite his bad luck.

IMCA Sport Modified racers are anxious to return with the IMCA Modifieds on Hall Of Fame Night on August 12th.  Mike Medel is making a run at his second straight track championship.  Despite a win, two seconds and a third, Medel's not too comfortably in the lead at the moment.  Just six points behind him is Willie McFall.  Willie recently won a Trophy Dash, but he's looking for some Main Event glory now.  Meanwhile, Medel remains committed to testing his ability against the best Sport Mod racers in Oregon and Northern California.  Mike supported all of Sport Mod Speedweek, though he voiced disappointment in one track's decision to not get involved and book over one of the dates.  Mike's bid for a State championship hit a road block after a hastily scheduled weekend at another Oregon track conflicted with plans he had already made.  However, he was still second in that race at last glance.  Mike is as dedicated as they come, and attitudes like his are what gives the Medford Sport Mod effort such a bright future.

If not for stumbling out of the gate with a hot lap crash earlier this season, Rich McCoy would surely be closer in the championship battle.  As it is, Rich is still within 24 points of Medel in third.  He won the most recent race by a wide margin, which was also his third straight Top 3 finish.  As a past Mini Stock champion and winner of several Modified features through the years, McCoy is not somebody you should count out in his fast #95 "Lightning McQueen" car.  We also have clarification on McCoy's recent win in Roseburg, which was a Super 4/Late Model combo race.  He was in his Super 4, which has the same paint job as his Sport Mod.  Can he win again on August 12th?  He is gaining momentum.  We can't forget two time champion Jorddon Braaten.  Jorddon won the first two races this year and is currently leading the PSM Series.

David Marble's season has been a bit rough.  An early season visit to Cottage Grove didn't go well for Marble.  A crash left last year's "Rookie Of The Year" with a bent frame.  It was decided that it would be cheaper to just put a new car together.  David's been working to dial it in, and he got a good indication that he was on the right track as he held of Medel and McFall in a good race for second last time.  David has won numerous Mini Stock features in his career, and he could get his first Sport Mod win at anytime.  Two time champion Dwayne Melvin and Jesse Merriman have both looked good this year as well. 

When the Late Model season opened with wins for Nathan Augustine and Dustin Knight, it might have been assumed that these two hard chargers would carve up the division victories among themselves.  Knight is a champion in both Modifieds and Pro Stocks, while Augustine won the Coos Bay Late Model title last year.  The two have a good battle going for the championship.  Knight's lead now is just three points over Augustine, who seems to be the Trophy Dash King this year.  Knight is the one making them earn their feature wins as he has chased the winner three times in second.  The wins in the two most recent races have gone to Trent Elliott and reigning champion Bob Dees.  Elliott got the big win in Coos Bay with a $3,000 victory last week in the Tidal Wave 50.

The most recent race was not without its drama.  A front stretch tangle ended with third ranked Kristy Grout rolling.  Word was that there was quite a bit of damage to the chassis.  The man leading the pack through every restart was Bob Dees.  With Augustine and Knight lurking out there, you had to wonder how long Bob could keep them behind him with his flawless low groove effort.  Augustine spun late in his effort to get by, and Knight just couldn't make the move.  The Dees effort should serve to remind everybody what can happen when you keep trying and don't give up.  It was Bob's first feature win in this division.  Teammate Mike Linder also looked impressive in winning his heat race earlier in the evening.

It should also be pointed out that long time Late Model racer Dave Foote had his best effort of the season in third last time.  Dave spent several seasons racing at Willamette Speedway.  The past Coos Bay Late Model champion is enjoying his time in Medford.  He praised the track conditions and pointed out a few adjustments he's made to his chassis setup to get around the track quicker.  It seemed to have paid off with that third place finish.  A rumor prior to the races was that there was a possibility that Rich McCoy could see action soon.  A fellow racer recently brought a car from the Rapp Racing Team, and McCoy would be helping him chassis setup.  This is not the car that McCoy may bring out for the season finale.  There's also word that Chris Biggs may make his Late Model debut on August 12th.  There's a lot of buzz surrounding the Late Model division, which is good news for fans of this style of racing.

Similarly, the Kendall Oil Sprint Cars are starting to attract the attention of some established teams.  Last time out, 1998 Cottage Grove champion Hedge Carter ended a long absence by finishing fourth in the Main Event.  Just a week prior, Carter was entertaining an offer to sell his racing operation, but he decided to go racing again.  Also back in action at the last race was 2016 Southern Oregon Speedway champion Jake Wheeler.  Wheeler earned the pole for the Main Event by holding off point leader Kyler Barraza for the win in the six lap Scramble as the two renewed an old rivalry.  Unfortunately for Wheeler, his race ended in a rollover.  We're now hearing that Jake's uncle, Mike Wheeler, will be joining the division.  Mike is one of the biggest stars on the 500 Open Kart circuit.

J. Wheeler wasn't the only driver going over.  The opening lap saw contact between David Hibbard, Shane Forte and Enrique Jaime, resulting in Jaime and Forte flipping.  Jaime seemed to have his overheating issues from his previous start worked out, but he didn't get the chance to really put it through its paces.  Forte started things off on a positive note with a heat race win.  Forte likes to run at different tracks and is a feature winner at both Coos Bay and Cottage Grove this season.  He's also just six points out of the lead at Cottage Grove.  Shane's paint job is a tribute to the Military, and he donates all of his winnings to homeless veterans.  He looked like a potential winner in his Medford visit before the premature end of his race.

Despite the increased car count last time, Barraza rolled to his third feature win of the season and increased his point lead in the process.  The battle is for second with only a few points separating two time winner Bailey Hibbard, father David Hibbard and Merissa Henson.  It's a bit surprising that D. Hibbard is still without a feature win.  He's finished second twice, but his race has also ended on the opening lap twice.  We finally saw the division debut of multi time 250 Outlaw Kart champion Tanner Holmes.  The rising young star started 12th and earned a lead lap fifth place finish.  Tanner drove a smart race as he learned more about his car.  When he gets comfortable with things, he's going to be exiting to watch.  The changes to the division's rules this year were designed to increase the car count and give the fans a better show, and they are working.

The Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites division has become very competitive this season.  In three races, we've had three different winners.  Point leader Bob Burkett, reigning champion Lee Doty and Bob Westcott all have wins, and point runnerup Charlie Eaton is on the verge with a second place finish and two thirds.  In fact, Burkett won a special visit to Yreka two weeks ago with Eaton again in second.  Having won over 20 Mini Stock features at Medford and the 2016 championship, Burkett seemed a good bet for top rookie honors, but a championship is within his grasp if he can keep up this pace.  The one thing that hasn't changed about Burkett is his penchant for winning Trophy Dashes.  He has two in this class and one in Mini Stocks already this year.

Doty has had a bit of bad luck lately.  He didn't finish at Yreka and scratched from the Main Event with a broken rear end the week before.  This puts him 26 points behind Burkett in the championship chase.  All points aside, Lee is just anxious to get another win.  The Late Model Lites are some of the fastest cars at the track.  Bill Spencer enjoyed one of his best efforts in the recent Yreka visit.  He held off 2002 Track champion Greg Arnold to finish third.  Bill has had some bad luck this year, but he's still holding off Danny Prewitt in a close battle for fourth in the standings.  Prewitt gained some ground there with his third place finish in the most recent Medford race.  There's a good possibility that the division will see its first ten car turnout of the year this week. 

Michael Johnson finally had enough of the stranglehold the Mini Stock veteran's have had on the Main Event winner's circle.  Johnson went to Yreka not that long ago and left with his first feature win.  This was also the site of his first heat race win a year earlier.  Johnson's father is a past Mini Stock champion who has to be very proud of his son's driving this season.  Last year, Michael missed a start because he was having difficulty with the stick shift.  This year, he's putting the car up on the outside and passing cars like a seasoned veteran.  After winning his heat at the most recent race, Johnson grabbed his first local feature victory.  He's also very much in the championship battle.

The Mini Stock point race finds just 11 points separating first place Dillen Lausen from fifth place Gary Anderson.  While Anderson and Steve Goetz are both past champions, two of the contenders, Lausen and Johnson, are just 16 year old.  Goetz and Anderson both have wins this year, and Anderson has done it twice.  Lausen has been a bit more consistent though he's still searching for his first feature win.  Like title contender Kristopher Mix, Lausen has finished as high as second.  If Goetz and Anderson have had bad luck, David Steele has had terrible luck,  After winning the first two races, Steele started encountering major motor problems.  The past couple of seasons have been very good to David, but it appears as if the bad luck has caught up to him.  He led the most recent race for several laps before pitting.  Though car count has dropped slightly, the racing has been close and entertaining this season.

There's such enthusiasm in the JOAT Labs Hornets class that drivers are asking for more races.  For a few seasons, this entry level class has been treated as an after thought, rather than the stepping stone into the world of auto racing that it is.  However, the effort to grow the car count in this class is paying off this year.  A division record 12 drivers competed one night, and 16 different cars have been in action at various times.  This is also good news for drivers wanting to go racing.  If there were any doubts about this class in the past, it's pretty obvious it's growing now.

At the moment, two time winner Tim Hedges is fielding four cars and also trying to repeat as track champion.  With back to back wins, Hedges now has the point lead ahead of impressive rookie Jason Stoutenburgh.  Jason has been fast all season and is on the verge of his first win.  Unfortunately, he got a flat tire on the opening lap last time and was out early, costing him the point lead.  The cars are pretty equal, and that makes the racing fun to watch.  The Hedges team has three cars in the Top 4 as Jenna Hedges is third and Ashton Hedges is fourth.  The goal for young Ashton is to finish high enough to earn a trophy at the banquet.  He's doing well so far.

A few other teen racers have joined the ranks as the season has gone on.  Second generation racer Dillon Irving continues to climb the point ladder in his red #11 car.  His father Ken Irving is a two time Pro Stock champion, and that #1 car may be Dillon's next ride.  Brandon Wonsyld and Ashland High's John Cordery had a nice heat race battle last time with Cordery coming out ahead.  In fact, Cordery also finished third in the Main Event.  More cars are still being prepared. The Kniffen Racing Team is preparing two cars for the third generation of the family to go racing, and we also heard that the Derrel Nelson's family is building more cars.

Outlaw Kart Pit Stops

The Outlaw Kart track will host two more races on August 11th and 18th.  Admittedly, it hasn't been the best season, but the show has gone on.  The track had to replace the scoring tower as the other one went with the previous management.  Improvements are ongoing, including the painting of the walls, and other projects are planned.  In the meantime, there are still point battles going on in the four classes, and those will be decided this month.

Trevor Grimes is running two divisions this season.  He's currently leading the Box Stock championship battle ahead of Keaton Augustine.  Grimes also leads the 250 Kart point race in what is his rookie season.  It's a move he's more than ready for.  Trevor's lead over Carley Holmes is 19 after Carley won her second Main Event last time out.  Grimes leads Keaton Augustine by 14 points in he Box Stock race.  Things can change, but there are now just two races left to do it.

The bigger question is who wants to support these last two shows?  While the effort has been struggling in Medford, Cage Kart numbers haven't been that strong in Yreka or Lebanon either.  Several 250 Kart stars have been absent.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  The cost factor has helped lead to the decline.  As the Kart craze grew, parents were getting their children involved.  Then, parts and motor costs increased rapidly.  The 500 Open Karts have felt the pinch for a few years now.  Some racers will no longer support a race unless it's $500 or $1,000 to win.  With the money they have tied up in their Karts, it's understandable, but it also hurts the weekly racing programs. 

250's are getting the same way, but some drivers have figured out the way to deal with it.  Racers like Merissa Henson, Enrique Jaime and Tanner Holmes now have Sprint Cars.  Other racers like reigning champion Bodee Weiser, Braden Weiser, Brenden Bartlett and Braden Cory are figuring out their next move.  We did see Bartlett's teammate, Devin Felix, at the most recent race.  It's something that will need to be dealt with for the longevity of the racing program.  We need Karts.  Management is entertaining other possibilities, including Lawn Mowers and Motorcycles, in an effort to put enough vehicles on the track to keep it viable.

The second event was a low mark in the track's 20 year history.  It nearly became a playday or canceled altogether, but the racers wanted to race.  Promoter Mike McCann has shown his commitment to the track by running the remainder of the season.  The little track has always been an important part of what Southern Oregon Speedway does, and the desire remains to build things back up again.  Changing trends may require a different approach.  Though the indoor winter series still thrives at other venues, the spring and summer efforts are hurting at several tracks in the area.

We still see new talent in the Beginners Box Stocks.  At the moment, nobody has really declared their intent to race for the championship.  Jacob James leads after back to back wins, but he was absent from the latest race.  James leads reigning champion Kiley Grimes by 11 points, Isaiah Sanders by 13 and recent winner Malachi Johnson by 16 points.  It may be Jacob's title if he comes back to finish the season.  The Beginners class had the highest turnout of the season with eight competitors at the season opener.

Likewise, the 500's haven't seen anybody declare themselves in the championship chase.  Tanner Holmes, Wyatt Pinckney and Mike Wheeler are deadlocked at 40 points.  All have only made one appearance this season.  At the recent race, Wheeler was accompanied by his son, Mike Wheeler Jr., who took his first laps in a Beginners Box Stock after the races.  We're not sure who might show up from week to week, but the track offers the purse and winner's trophy regardless of how many competitors are there. 

Shifting gears back to the Box Stocks, they provided lots of action at the most recent race.  Taylor Fuller is up from the Beginners class.  He won two features in that division at Medford last season and was the Yreka champion.  This year, he's been doing lots of winning in Yreka and is the Box Stock point leader there.  Taylor won a heat race last time ahead of title hopeful Keaton Augustine.  Keaton was a heat winner earlier this year in his beautiful blue #24 car, and he's contending for a feature win.  These two and Sofia Bauer did a great job last time out.  Vinny DeBenedetti ran strong in preliminaries, but a flip in the second heat left him out for the night.  The five who competed last time were certainly a highlight to the most recent race.

It's really up to the racers at this point.  Uncle Rich, Collen and his crew continue to prepare the track for each race and will have it ready to go on the 11th.  Count was up slightly at the last race, and it's hoped that it will be up more for these next two races.  The little track has seen some great racing action through the years, and this is a tradition we'd like to see continue.